Even before the Necromancer class was made, players had ways of enlisting help from mobs. Void golems could be built and controlled, and had many of the powers of warriors and thieves intrinsically. Clerics were able to charm mobs to a certain degree. They also were able to animate corpses into undead zombies that did their bidding.
Now, both necros and mages can make minions using their mana alone.
Main article: control points
Control points keep players from making too many minions and also allow various combinations of minions. Each of the casting classes has its own control points. Following is a description of each class and its minions.
(Note: Since I do not have a mage primary, I may not be completely accurate on this elemental stuff. Please send athlon tell/mudmail in game if you disagree with anything in this section.)
Mages, at the pinnacles of their training in fire, lightning, and ice spells, can summon elementals from the elemental plains to take hits or assist them in combat. All elemental minions also have a lesser form that requires fewer control points but is, well, lesser. All elemental minions improve with cast level, as well as the knowledge level of the spell that summoned them. Additional tip: elementals get healed up when they are hit with damage of their elemental type. For example, a fire elemental being hit with a fireball from the enemy will actually heal up because of it.
The first elemental minion summoning spell is the fire elemental spell at level 32. Fire pillar elementals are merely ok in both attack and defense, and make general purpose mage minions. They also cast the fireball spell, which is an additional bonus.
At level 34, the next elemental summoning spell unlocks. The user must know chain lightning to be able to cast the spell. Lightning elementals have high attack power, but do not take a lot of damage before disappearing. Ghouls still do more damage at the same necromancer cast level. Lightning elementals also can cast lightning bolt on mobs, which can cause the boom effect. The normal lightning elemental can cast ball lightning as well, though the lesser cannot.
At level 36, ice elemental unlocks. It cannot hit hard, but it does soak up a lot of damage. Not much else is known about it at this time because not enough people have used ice elementals in groups for me to investigate their resilience. Ice elementals can cast icebolt on mobs.
Cleric minions are, at this time, limited to charmed minions. At level 16, clerics can learn the charm spell and begin to attempt to charm minions. Unfortunately, a cleric can only charm a minion much weaker than himself, and the stronger the minion, the shorter the duration of the charm. Cast level allows a cleric to enlist the help of more powerful charmed minions, as well as increasing the duration of the charm.
Charmed minions can be ordered to do just about anything with the order command. Whether they can execute the order often depends on the stats of the minion, especially when it comes to spellcasting and wearing equipment. Make sure your minion's int , mana and wis is high enough before ordering him to cast something; if any of these are not high enough, he will most likely fail and mana will be wasted. As a rule, mobs regenerate much slower than players, especially when it comes to mana.
Charmed mobs also do not automatically enter portals. You will have to order charmed mobs to enter portals before you enter them yourself. There are also many no mob rooms, or rooms restricted to a certain type of mob. If you attempt to enter one of these rooms, your charmed minion may be left behind.
Charmed minions, after the charm spell wears off, will leave you and recall to the room they were in when you first charmed them. If this room does not exist (perhaps you charmed a mob in an instance and the instance is gone), mobs will stay where they are. If the mob is aggressive, it will begin to attack you as soon as the spell is gone.
The only minions thieves can make are shadow decoys. At level 25, thieves learn the shadow decoy skill. The better learned the skill, the greater the chance of successfully making combat decoys. Shadow decoys rescue the thief, similar to a necromancer clay man, but take much less punishment. Unlike the clay man however, thieves can make many decoys at once, as long as they have enough mana.
Necromancers are the masters of minion summoning. From animations to undead, necromancers have the final say in almost anything minion-related. Read on to find out why.
Casting a minion spell at a higher cast level will almost certainly make the resulting minion stronger. The exception is the shadow fiend, which relies exclusively on the level of soulstone used. Note that your knowledge level of the minion skills and spells plays a smaller but still significant part in the power of your minions.
Animated necro minion summoning is learn in the necromancer animation spell tree. All of these minions are used to take damage in the great majority of cases. They only take 1 or 2 control points, but require a little bit of mana to keep running. If your mana drops to 0 while you have an animated minion, it will break apart. This is usually only a problem for primary necros below about level 13 due to the sparse amount of equipment that has both cast level and mana regen on it. Animated minions are magical entities. They heal up from magical attacks, but take damage if dispel magic is cast on them.
Level 1 necromancers learn their first animation spell, clay man. The clay man requires only 1 control point and nothing in the way of raw materials. You can even make a clay man in areas that don't actually have clay, like under the deep blue sea. Clay men are the cheapest and least powerful of the animated minions. You will probably have to cast a few clay men when running serious xp with it. Clay men have a bit of poison resistance, but other than that, are quite flimsy compared with other minions.
Level 5 necro opens up the wood woad spell. Making a wood woad requires you to have at least 20 pounds of wood on the ground. Woads have much more hp than clay men and take 2 control points. Sadly, they are vulnerable to both fire and lightning attacks, but, in turn, are resistant to cold. They also can reflect damage back at mobs; you will know they have done so if a mob is suddenly stabbed by a wooden spike while fighting. Woads can also be deanimated into large pieces of wood that can be stored away and reanimated into fresh woads in the future.
Bone guardian is learnable at level 9 necro. The guardian requires a corpse to be on the ground before being cast. It has fairly high hp, though not even close to that of a woad, and only requires 1 control point. It is vulnerable to fire and crushing attacks, but can dodge, and is resistant to pointed weapons. Bone guardians are useful because whenever a mob with bones dies, it has the potential of being made into a bone guardian, thereby replacing a previous guardian that might be injured. Bone guardians can be deanimated into balls of twisted bones for future use.
Perhaps the worst of the animated minions, the flesh beast's only redeeming quality is that it has high hp, higher even than that of the woad. Sadly, in all other ways, it is inferior, especially when it comes to self-protection. It takes massive amounts of damage with every hit. The high damage it takes outweighs the hp advantage it has. In short, flesh beasts are plain pointless; do not use them if you and your other minions want to live longer.
Metal constructs are the most powerful of the animated minions. They have the same hp as woads, and also take 2 control points like their wooden cousins. To make one, you need 20 pounds of metal on the ground. The best part about metals,, though, is that saving effects on the metal used are transferred to the finished construct. For example, if you need a metal construct that has a high resistance to breath and poison damage, you can drop metal that has high poison and breath save effects on it, and your finished metal will have them too. Note that negative effects lower saves, so you may have to make a tradeoff. Metal constructs have damage reduction like their woad counterparts, and can be deanimated for future use. The saving throws are kept along with the deanimation. Use the identify spell to check the saving throws on your deanimated metals.
Harvested teeth allow necromancers to make minions that deal damage to mobs. Many other things are possible with teeth, but we will only cover the minions in this article.
At level 3 necro, the skeletal spider spell opens. Spiders use normal teeth, but if the caster runs out, they will use dragon teeth instead. Luckily, normal teeth are in great supply so you should never run out if you harvest from every mob you kill. Spiders are quite fragile, and don't do much damage, but you can have as many as your control points limit you to. Every spider takes 3 control points. Another good thing about spiders: they usually take the stray first hit or stab from aggressive mobs, or the targeted spells from mob casters. They are a good way to fill your remaining control points if you don't have anything else with which to fill them.
Just as you get sick of spiders, you can unlock the skeletal warrior spell at level 17. Warriors, like spiders, take 3 control points, but have much higher hp and damage, and when cast, are randomly given a damage type of pierce, flail, or slice. Unfortunately, they take dragon teeth to make, and also you are limited by your necro level to how many warriors you are allowed to have at once. At level 17, you can have 1. At level 24, you can have 2. At level 30, you can have 3.
Skeletal mages unlock at level 22 necro. They also require dragon teeth to make, like warriors. They have less hp than warriors, but they cast elemental damage at mobs. You can view which elemental damage each mage will throw using the control command. The mages you get are completely random. Mages take 5 control points, and you are limited by your necro level to how many you can have at once. At level 22, you can have 1 mage. 27 necro allows you to have 2 and 33 necro gives you a maximum of 3.
Bone dragons are not used as fighting minions, but only as transport minions. You can use bone dragons to fly over outdoor terrain, including water, but can only land on outdoor terrain. It requires 7 dragon teeth and a purple soulstone to make. Bone dragons are most useful when using the dClient because the map is built in to the screen and updates as you fly around.
Raised undead require a fresh corpse that has blood in it. Etherial and undead corpses generally do not work to raise undead. You also cannot blood sacrifice the corpse before preparing and raising it, or it cannot be prepared.
To make a raised undead,
Zombies unlock at 13 necro, but you cannot actually use them until you learn raise undead at 14 necro. Zombies are very slow and deal poison damage with their attacks. They have a lot of hp though, about as much as a clay man. The best part about zombies is that they can bash, which really hampers spellcasters. The zombie also only requires 9 control points; this means that at level 36, you are able to raise and control 4 zombies at a time.
Ghouls, which unlock at level 19, are pure killing machines. Their hp is fairly low but they make up for it with their high damage. They hit for nonorm claw damage and have an extremely high base hitroll. They also hit fast, and you can haste them to make them hit even harder. They require 13 control points to sustain. If the mob the ghoul is attacking is low on health, the ghoul will berserk, driving itself to the limit in order to kill the mob as fast as it can. It can berserk for a very long time, perhaps 4 ticks, which means you won't even have to keep it refreshed much.
Mummies are slow, powerful undead. At level 25 you can learn to prepare your next corpse to be a mummy. Mummies are the most effective raised undead tanks. They have the highest hp of the undead tanks, about 90% of the hp of a wood woad prepared at the same cast and knowledge level. They also have a very high base armor. They have very high hitroll, allowing them to hit through powerful armor, but they hit extremely slowly and not that hard. They do, however cast level 30 noxious cloud, clumsiness, feeble mind and weaken on mobs, making them powerful in that sense. They have extremely high spell and poison resistance, but to counterbalance this, their fire resistance is a rather glaring -50%. You can use an ice shield scroll to make the negative save milder. infusing the maximum amount of fire spellcomps into the prepared mummy corpse will bring up the firesave to 10%, which is tolerable enough.
At level 30, the vfinal undead minion, the vampire unlocks. It requires 24 control points to control, meaning you can only ever have 1. It has about as much hp as a zombie. It also has extremely high hitroll, but does not have high damroll. It hits for cold damage. Vampires love to intimidate mobs by shouting at them, and harming them with a vicious hiss. The best part is that if a vampire dies in battle, it will come back fully restored after 2 or 3 ticks. In the time between the death of the vampire and its restoration, do not summon any other minions that will decrease your left over control points below 24 or your vampire will be lost.
Though grudging, demonic minions love soulstones. Most necromancer demon skills and spells are only for a short-term favor of a demon, such as a spellup or information about an item. However, you are able to summon some demons for long-term duty as your minions.
Demon familiar unlocks at 11 necro. As your necro level increases, the power of the bonuses your demon familiar gives increases, as does the demon's natural stats. Demon familiars reuiqre 2 control points, and you can only have one at a time. Below is a list of demon familiars and the maximum bonus each can give (at level 36 necro).
At 21 necro, the shadow fiend skill unlocks. Shadow fiends will only accept a deep blue or higher soulstone. The higher level the soulstone, the more hp the fiend has, up to a cap of 750. Shadow fiends have 100% normal save, 100% elemental saves and 100% spell save and res. However, they are extremely vulnerable to breath attacks due to their low hp, and of course, harm and nonorm damage will take them out fairly quickly. Furthermore, they leave after 5 or so minutes without combat. The timer starts only after a fight has ended, so a fiend will stay indefinitely as long as it does not enter combat. Even worse, fiends cannot be healed up. Despite all those shortcomings, fiends can be some of the best tanking minions around due to their resistance. Fiends require 15 control points each, so when you hit level 30 necro, you are able to summon two.
Necromancers are able to control undead and demons found on their travels, to a certain extent. The control demon and control undead spells unlock at 26 and 27 necro, respectively. Controlled undead and demons each require an amount of control points equal to the demon's or undead's level, which is severely limiting. Both controlled demons and undead can be given combat orders using the control command, or ordered to do a few basic things with the order command. Controlled demons and undead cannot use skills, unlike cleric charmed minions. Their obedience to orders is basically limited to chatting using say or gt; bragging information over say or gt; socials; killing targets; wearing or removing equipment; getting, dropping or donating items; moving; assisting; or casting spells. One important thing to remember about controlled mobs is that their regeneration is extremely slow. And if you order them to sleep, they immediately stand back up. You can fix this problem by controlling the undead to stay, ordering them to sleep, and then controlling them to assist, tank, protect, or none. Once you switch their control back, they automatically wake themselves up.
Controlled undead do not require anything other than your mana to keep controlled. This is extremely tough on the caster for more powerful undead. Once your mana is drained, the controlled undead reverts to normal as if a charm spell fell (refer back to the charmed minions section). Controlled undead are able to consume corpses, though the amount of hp they repair is fairly low. Making your controlled undead more powerful, such as casting spells on it or making it wear equipment, will cause it to leech more mana off of you. It is important to find a good balance between power and comfort.
Demons are usually aggressive when out in the wild. Casting the control demon spell on them causes them to stop attacking for a few seconds and wait for payment in the form of soulstones. Any soulstone works for payment, but the higher level the stone, the more time the demon will stay with you. You can give the demon soulstones to maintain its binding to you. Type control to see the loyalty level of the demon you are controlling. If the loyalty is medium, low, or very low, it is time to give the demon a few more stones to keep it in bondage. Like undead, the more powerful your demons become, the more stones they will need.
Controlling undead and demons is tough on the caster, especially undead. Plus, powerful demons and undead often cost at least 25 control points, which are often better used for a party of skeletons and raised undead. There are only a few specific cases in which controlled undead and demons are a good idea. You will need to find them on your own.
There is no doubt that minions have added another dimension to the game. The trick is knowing what combinations of minions to use at a given time.